March 17, 2010

Arts Dispatches


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Staff photo by Doug Jones Tuesday, May 8 2007: Willi Burke, who will play "Miss Daisy" in Driving Miss Daisy, the current production for the cast of Good Theater, is assisted by costume designer, Jodi Ozimek, as she trys on the different hats her character will wear.

A celebration of spring, West African style

The Ebune Parade, a celebration of spring, rebirth and renewal, begins at noon today at Maine College of Art on Congress Street. The parade is a collaboration of the Museum of African Culture, A Company of Girls and members of the community.

Ebune is the West African spirit of the ram, embodying strength and fertility. Some of this year's participants include students from the Breakwater School, A Company of Girls and Creative Trails.

The parade will feature large ram puppets, with music by Chriss Sutherland and Meghan Yates; juggling by Kelly Nesbitt and George Weatherby; and a performance by the World Arts Cooperative's West African Dance class.


South Congregational concert features top brass

The South Congregational Church and the Church on the Cape will sponsor a spring concert by the 30-piece New England Brass Band.

Douglas Yeo, a bass trombonist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, directs the band. The program begins at 4 p.m. today at the South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport.

An offering will be taken. For information, call South Church at 967-2793.


PORTopera extravaganza to benefit 'Romeo' production

PORTopera's annual Dinner/Dance & Auction, celebrating and supporting PORTopera's 2008 mainstage production of Gounod's ''Romeo et Juliette,'' will be May 9 at the Portland Marriott.

The evening includes an Italian dinner, music by the Bob Charest band and voice students from the University of Southern Maine, accompanied by Aaron Robinson. Stage and screen actor Frank E. Reilly, husband of event co-chair Sharon Reilly, will serve as emcee.

Tickets cost $125 per person and can be obtained by calling the PORTopera office at 879-7678.


Gallery launches series of readings, open-mic nights

Addison Woolley Gallery will host ''Thursdays at Addison Woolley'' featuring spoken-word open mic nights, readings, lectures and other events.

The inaugural event of the series will begin at 5:30 p.m. April 24 and feature Eleanor Morse, a recent recipient of a Maine Literary Award. The gallery is at 87 Market St. For information, call 775-0678.


Mainer among finalists in songwriting competition

Bryan Hill, 18, of Alfred is among 10 U.S. teens to qualify as songwriting finalists in Essence magazine's Take Back the Music campaign, in conjunction with Boston's Berklee College of Music

Hill's song ''Verbal Medicine'' is available for listening at and The public is invited to vote in an online poll.

More than 45 unsigned musicians, producers, and songwriters between the ages of 15 and 19 entered the contest. Five winners, to be announced later this month, will receive summer music education from Berklee and Three of the winners will perform at the 2008 Peace Hip-Hop Festival at Boston's City Hall Plaza on Aug. 2.

Winners will be selected by a panel of hip-hop celebrity judges and Berklee scholars. Judging is based on clever, innovative lyrics that convey a positive message, as well as melody and composition.


Heartwood College observes Earth Day with open house

Heartwood College of Art will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. April 22, Earth Day. The open house will include a display of recent work by Heartwood students, artist demonstrations and the exhibition ''Oil & Water: Architecture 4 x 6.'' Admission is free.

The open house also will feature a silent auction of wooden fish from the college's ongoing fundraiser, ''The Fish Art Project.''

Heartwood was founded in 1993 as a nonprofit, community-based art school. It offers a two-year associate's degree, as well as classes in the visual and performing arts.

In 2003, it began offering a bachelor's degree in fine art, and last year the college began ''Boomer U,'' a college-certificate program in the visual arts for students 50 and older.

Meanwhile, Heartwood is seeking entries for the exhibition ''The Anatomy of Trees,'' opening May 7. For information, call 985-0985 or visit


Early-music ensemble performs 'Concert Spirituel'

St. Mary Schola, an early-music ensemble directed by Bruce Fithian, will perform a program of sacred music from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras at 3 p.m. April 20 at Virgin Church, 43 Foreside Road. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.

Entitled ''Concert Spirituel,'' a reference to the first public concerts given in Paris in the 18th century, the performance begins with a mystical chant by Hildegard of Bingen and will include solos and duos from Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, the solo motet ''Cantabo Domino'' by Schutz with two violins, organ and cello, and ''Nascente Maria'' by Barbara Strozzi.

Much the concert will be devoted to masterworks of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The famous Gregorian chant ''alma redemptoris mater'' will be sung in its original form, followed by settings by Dufay, Ockeghem and a double chorus version by the Spanish master Victoria.

The second half of the program will honor Passover.

Performers include sopranos Erin Niland, Lisa Barter, Christine Letcher; mezzo-sopranos Andrea Graichen, Abra Mueller; countertenors Michael Albert, Jon Poupore; tenors Bruce Fithian, Richard Sullivan, Martin Lescault; basses Nicholas MacDonald, Lawrence Jackson, Asa Bradford; violins Valerie Green, Michael Albert; and cello Eliott Cherry.


One-man show centers on history of labor movement

Harlan Baker will appear as Jimmy Higgins in a one man show he has written, ''Jimmy Higgins: A Life in the Labor Movement,'' at 7:30 p.m. April 28 at the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center. Christopher Price will direct.

In the play, Higgins recounts his days as a newspaper boy in Sandusky, Ohio, during World War I, his meeting with Eugene Debs and other radicals, his experiences in the Lafollette campaign for president in 1924 and his experience covering the union organizing drives of tenant farmers and auto workers in the 1930s.

Baker, a former state legislator and union activist, is an adjunct professor in the theater department at the University of Southern Maine. The performance is sponsored by the Southern Maine Labor Council, the Maine State Employees Association and The West End News. For tickets, call 775-5568, and for more information visit


Round 2 of programs by Portland Music Foundation

The Portland Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing the local music scene, will hold its second round of educational programming at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center. The session, which is free, will include nine veteran music-industry members. The series is presented in collaboration with the Maine Center for Creativity.

Wednesday's session is called ''Mistakes Were Made,'' and will feature a panel of music-industry representatives recalling some of the decisions they wish they hadn't made as they built their careers.

Panelists include Brett Wickard, co-owner of Bull Moose Music; Herb Ivy, program director and operations manager, WCYY and WBLM; Kate Schrock, singer, songwriter and pianist; Sontiago, hip-hop performer; Charlie Gaylord, guitarist for Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Truckers and founder of the ''Greetings from Area Code 207'' series of CDs; Dan Connor, musician from the Sense, Goud's Thumb and Gypsy Tailwind; Scott Ordway, founder of Ideal Entertainment Group, artist management for Paranoid Social Club, Loverless, Sucka Brown; Todd Richard, musician, co-owner of Nantucketastrophe Records, owner of Rocket Resources marketing firm and co-founder of; Yasmin Craig Vitalius, violinist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

For more information, visit


Museum exhibition brought to life in dramatization

The Saco Museum will host the premiere of ''An Evening with Mary Bean'' at 7 p.m. April 29. The program involves a dramatic presentation that brings to life the current exhibition at the museum. Museum director Andrea Cochrane and University of New England history department chairman Elizabeth DeWolfe will stage a theatrical rendition of Bean's story. Admission is a suggested donation of $5.

The Saco Museum has collaborated with DeWolfe and UNE to design and build the exhibition, which is based of DeWolfe's research and findings in her book, ''The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories.'' The exhibition opened in February.

For information, call 283-3861 or visit


Playhouse stays in-house for new production director

Robert Levinstein will fill the new position of director of production at the Ogunquit Playhouse. He has worked at the theater as production stage manager since 2002.

His new responsibilities include leadership of more than 200 technical staff and actors, and the hiring of seasonal staff. He will work in collaboration with designers, directors and the production team.

To celebrate its 75th season, the playhouse opens Memorial Day weekend with ''Forbidden Broadway,'' New York's longest-running musical comedy revue. The lineup continues with ''Fiddler on the Roof'' (May 28-June 21); the New England premiere of the new Neil Sedaka musical, ''Breaking Up is Hard to Do'' (June 25-July 12); ''The Producers'' (July 16-Aug. 9); ''My Fair Lady'' (Aug. 13- Sept. 6), and ''Les Miserables'' (Sept. 10- Oct. 13). For information, visit or call 646-5511.


Gallery opens season with exhibition all about fish

The Maine Art Gallery opens the season with the work of 18 Maine artists in the exhibition ''Something Fishy.'' The show opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. May 1 and will remain on view through June 1.

Waldoboro artist Jean Kigel provied the impetus for the show. Kigel responded to the gallery's exhibition call by detailing her desire to use art to highlight declining fish stocks. Exhibition committee members Carol Wiley and Pam Cabanas expanded the idea to include a multimedia exhibition focusing on the challenges facing fish stocks and the fishing industry.

The gallery will host lectures at 6 p.m. May 8 and May 15 by Sherman Hoyt, fisheries outreach director, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service; and Kim Libby, business manager, Midcoast Fishermen's Association, Port Clyde.

Kigel will lead an artist talk at 6 p.m. May 22.

Reservations are required and will be accepted after April 29 by calling 882-7511.

Artists exhibiting work are Sarah Brandon, Silvia Carrier, Dianne Dahlke, Jean Nelson Harris, Michael Chesley Johnson, Lydia Kaeyer, Grace A. Keown, Jean Kigel, Loretta Krupinski, Norbert Leser, Edward Mackenzie, Olive Metcalfe, Ruth Monsell, Hannah Nelsbach, Petrea Noyes, Olive Pierce, Marko Schmidt, Catherine Worthington.

For information, visit


Employee art show at Casco Bay Frames

The staff at Casco Bay Frames will exhibit new work in the ninth annual employee art show in May and June. The artists will attend a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. May 9. Casco Bay Frames is at 295 Forest Avenue in the Hannaford Plaza on Back Cove in Portland. For information, visit or call 774-1260.

-- Bob Keys, Staff Writer

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